Take the next step in your church’s journey

Jan 4, 2021

A tourist or a student with a backpack in Berlin in Germany visits the sights. Ahead is the Brandenburg Gate.

By Keith Durham

Traveling internationally can be both exhilarating and challenging. Being in an unfamiliar environment, not speaking the language and eating different foods are all aspects of the trip that you either enjoy … or want to forget.

Leading a church to find their next step of following the Lord can have a similar feeling: unfamiliar and yet exhilarating at the same time.

No church has arrived completely until Jesus comes again. There is always a next step of faith on the horizon. What is your church’s next step?

Next steps indicate there is life. Jesus said, “Follow Me.” Follow is an action word. You cannot stay put and follow. You cannot stay where you currently are and follow a moving target.

Jesus is moving to seek and to save the lost. His bride, the church, should be moving with Him as well. The apostle Paul challenged the church to move forward in Philippians 3:13: “Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead.” Reaching forward is a sign of vitality.

Next, steps need to be named. Why did Adam name the animals in Genesis 2:19-20? It was an act of having dominion over them. It’s next to impossible to lead a church forward if you can’t name where the next step of faith is for them.

Yet, many church leaders can’t answer the question “What do we do next?” This question assumes the leader has a God-directed, faith-filled vision of where the church is going in the future.

Not all next steps are created the same. Some next steps for a congregation are easier than others. Building campaigns are lengthy and cultural shifts can take years, while planning events can usually be done within 90 days.

If the church hasn’t been on many adventures lately, don’t make their first step a trip across the world. Start off with some easy wins, low-hanging fruit. What can the church accomplish together in a short amount of time? How meaningful would celebrating accomplishing a milestone be for your church?

One of my most favorite cities is Berlin, Germany. Initially, it wasn’t on my list of German cities to visit. But my son, who was our tour guide, insisted we spend some time there.

It turned out to be the highlight of my entire time in Germany! I had no idea how beautiful and historic the city would be. Why didn’t I? Because I had never been.

God has greater experiences in store for the future. He can take your church to new heights, new places, new adventures. Don’t let the unknown keep you from experiencing His very best for your church!

Start the conversation today of finding your church’s next step of faith.

Keith Durham is the church health facilitator with the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention.

Next Steps

–Need help discovering next steps for your church? The Arizona Southern Baptist Convention offers the six-step ReFocus process that helps churches articulate next steps of their kingdom mission. Contact Keith Durham at kdurham@azsbc.org to meet with your pastor and/or leadership team concerning ReFocus.

–Connect with leaders at a church that has already taken the step your church needs take and learn from their journey. Contact an AZSBC facilitator for help in making a connection.

–If your church hasn’t celebrated any steps lately, start with something easy and don’t forget to celebrate when it’s accomplished.

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